America is getting its first vegan culinary nutrition center. The plant-based education center is opening in St. Louis, Missouri, amid growing demand for information on meat-free diets.
The Center for Plant-based Living (CPBL) is headed by Caryn Dugan. Dugan is a food blogger who has become a local authority on vegan nutrition, cooking, and health. She often teaches classes and presentations and hosts a plant-based nutrition summit at Washington University.
“Over the years I have watched this plant-based movement gain strength and speed,” says Dugan. “People are hungry for a place to go where they can always get reputable information and gain the skills they need to start adding more plants to their plate. They also need support – oftentimes the missing key component that halts change. CPBL will offer all of this.”
Dugan regularly works with several other national plant-based advocacy and education groups. These include Forks Over Knives, which — according to its website — aims to “empower people to live healthier lives by changing the way the world understands nutrition.”
She also works with PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine). The non-profit medical research and advocacy organization promotes a plant-based diet. She also works with the Plantrician Project. The organization is on a mission to educate healthcare providers and physicians about the benefits of whole food plant-based nutrition.
“The most asked question I receive is, ‘how do I begin?’. My answer, A Plant On Every Plate,” says Dugan on her website.
The Rise of Vegan Cooking
Diets that contain a lot of meat, dairy, and eggs are linked to serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and several forms of cancer. More health experts are now recommending a plant-based diet as a form of preventative medicine.
“It’s no secret that mainly unprocessed, real food is what our body responds to and uses to develop a strong immune system to help fight off disease and chronic illnesses,” says Dugan.
As more people become aware of the health risks linked to animal products, demand for vegan nutrition support and advice is rising.
In New York, the Institute of Culinary Education — known as America’s best culinary school — now hosts the Natural Gourmet Center. According to its website, “[the] new Health-Supportive Culinary Arts program offers a holistic approach to plant-based nutrition-minded cooking with a focus on whole foods and wellness.”